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Gianna Mitzel

Did Mary give birth?


So in the Bible when Adam and Eve sin God says that the pains in childbirth will be intensified. So that was a result of sin. But since Mary had no sin, did it still apply? And I have also heard that Jesus Just like passed out of the womb miraculously and MAry did not give birth if that makes any sense. Thoughts?

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Many non-Catholic Christians will affirm that Mary was a Virgin before the birth.  They understand as Catholic do that Mary’s pregnancy was miraculous and not the result of normal relations with a man.

Another teaching of the Church is that Mary was a virgin after the birth (meaning that she never had sex or babies after the birth of Christ).  This one is harder for other Christians to accept.  It means that Joseph would always be celibate.  By the way, the fact that Joseph was a model of purity and chastity is the reason he is always shown holding lillies.

But the one that will really wrinkle your brain is that many of the Church father said that Mary was a virgin even during the birth.  In some mysterious way, Mary’s birth was supernatural.  Instead of me explaining this, I want to encourage you to look this up and share with the group what you find out about this.

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This is such a beautiful teaching! I did a little looking and I found a site that organizes Scriptural support as well as explanations by Church Fathers, Popes, and Doctors of the Church on Mary’s constant virginity and her lack of pain during the birth. St. John Damascene’s quote hit me hard, but there are sooo many great texts that are much more eloquent writers than I am, so I’ll pull St. John Damascene’s text and link the site below.

St. John Damascene 

How can death claim as its prey this truly blessed one, who listened to God’s word in humility, and was filled with the Spirit, conceiving the Father’s gift through the archangel, bearing without concupiscence or the co-operation of man the Person of the Divine Word, who fills all things, bringing Him forth without the pains of childbirth, being wholly united to God?… It was fitting that the body of her, who preserved her virginity intact in childbirth, should be kept from corruption even after death. She who nursed her Creator as an infant at her breast, had a right to be in the divine tabernacles…. It was fitting that she who saw her Son die on the cross, and received in her heart the sword of pain which she had not felt in childbirth, should gaze upon Him seated next to the Father. (St. John Damascene, Second Homily on the Dormition of the Mother of God.

So far as He was born of woman, His birth was in accordance with the laws of parturition, while so far as He had no father, His birth was above the nature of generation: and in that it was at the usual time (for He was born on the completion of the ninth month when the tenth was just beginning), His birth was in accordance with the laws of parturition, while in that it was painless it was above the laws of generation. For, as pleasure did not precede it, pain did not follow it, according to the prophet who says, Before she travailed, she brought forth, and again, before her pain came she was delivered of a man-child (Isaiah 66:7). The Son of God incarnate, therefore, was born of her, not a divinely-inspired man but God incarnate…But just as He who was conceived kept her who conceived still virgin, in like manner also He who was born preserved her virginity intact, only passing through her and keeping her closed (Ezekiel 44:2). (St. John Damascene, On the Orthodox Faith, IV, 14)


Most of the texts refer to Isaiah 66:7-9, so I’ll include it below:

7: Before she is in labor,

she gives birth;

Before her pangs come upon her,

she delivers a male child.

8: Who ever heard of such a thing,

or who ever saw the like?

Can a land be brought forth in one day,

or a nation be born in a single moment?

Yet Zion was scarcely in labor

when she bore her children.

9: Shall I bring a mother to the point of birth,

and yet not let her child be born? says the LORD.

Or shall I who bring to birth

yet close her womb? says your God.


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Awesome job in finding these quotes, Hailey!

I also like this quote (From the same webpage):

“It is not right that He who came to heal corruption should by His advent violate integrity” (St. Augustine, Sermon 189:2).

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